The Impression Ignatius Made

“His holiness was unmistakable; he practiced self-mastery until there seemed to be no difference between God’s will and his own. “Eres en tu casa,” was his wide-armed greeting to anyone who visited him—“You are at home”—and all who talked with him left with the impression that he was kindliness itself: Michelangelo was so affected by Ignatius that he offered to build the Church of the Gesù for nothing.
“Ever a mystic, at times the saint was in the midst of an official transaction when his thoughts would lift up to God and hang there, and his witnesses would shyly shuffle their shoes until he got back to his papers again. But there were also stories of him surprising a melancholic with a jig in order to cheer him up, and his happiness was such that he said he could no longer apply his own rules for discernment of spirits because he was finding consolation in all things—he once said he saw the Holy Trinity in the leaf of an orange tree. Although children threw apples at him when he first preached in the streets of Rome—probably because of his horrid Italian—he soon was as genuinely beloved as the pope. In fact, he was so highly thought of by prelates that in the 1550 conclave at which Julius III was elected pontiff, Ignatius de Loyola received five votes.”

Ron Hansen
Stay Against Confusion: Essays on Faith and Fiction


  1. Ignatius is one person from history I would love to meet, if it were possible to go back in time!
    It seems to me that Ignatius was so full of God that he truly became Ignatius, and not some “wannabe”. Perhaps that is what Aquinas meant when he said that “grace builds on nature”?
    Maybe being mindful of this is a missing piece in the puzzle on how to end bullying that is plaguing young people today?


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